Authorities arrested three area residents Thursday in connection to the death of a Richmond woman. Michelle Rheuport, 40, was found shortly after 7:00 a.m. Wednesday inside her home in the 400 block of Farris Avenue. Brandon Simpson, 25, James Gant, 25, and Lauren Gabbard, 23, were taken to the Ray County jail where they are each being held on a $1 million bond.
Simpson has been charged with first-degree murder, according to a report from the State Highway Patrol. The other two have been charged with second-degree murder. All three are also facing charges of burglary and stealing.
The cause of death has not been released at this time.
Rheuport’s murder was the first homicide since 1996 in Richmond.
Press Release from the Missouri State Highway Patrol
On May 23, 2012, at approximately 7:09 am, Michelle Rheuport, 40, was found dead inside her residence, at 411 Farris Avenue, in Richmond, by a family member. Following an investigation, officers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control, Ray County Sheriff’s Department and the Richmond Police Department arrested three Richmond, MO, residents for the murder of Michelle Rheuport:
Brandon Scott Simpson, 25 — Murder first degree — Class A felony, Burglary first degree — Class B felony, Stealing — Class C felony — Simpson was also arrested for a Probation and Parole violation warrant.
James Gant, 25 — Murder second degree — Class A felony, Burglary first degree– Class B felony, Stealing — Class C felony — Gant was also arrested for a Probation and Parole violation warrant.
Lauren Gabbard, 23 — Murder second degree — Class A felony, Burglary first degree — Class B felony, and Stealing — Class C felony.
All three subjects are being held at the Ray County Jail on a $1,000,000.00 cash or surety bond. The charges for which the above individuals were arrested are mere accusation and are not evidence of guilt. Evidence in support of the charges must be presented before a court of competent jurisdiction whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.